Northern Luzon, the Philippines: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
The island group of Batanes, close to Taiwan, is less frequented by the masses of tourists, and offers great rewards for adventurous explorers. Most of the 10 islands in Batanes are uninhabited. The scenery is a mixture of extinct volcanoes covered by greenery, rolling cliffs, rugged cliffs and white beaches. The main islands of Batan is agricultural and offers many outdoor activities, like hiking and climbing. Sabtang is rich in tradition, selling hand-crafted items. The last inhabited island is Itbayat, quite remote and difficult to reach.
Ilocos is a province in northern Luzon, facing the Chinese Sea and is the coastal area of the Cordillera mountain range. Ilocos has a rich history as it has been a colony of several different countries like China, India and Spain. This part of the country features many interesting museums, historic landmarks and monuments. The high number of cultural elements attract many visitors each year. The beautiful landscape also offers numerous outdoor activities.
The small mountain village of Sagada is a backpackers paradise in the Philippines. Travelers will find wonderful tranquil places throughout its misty hiking trails. Several caves in this area offer nice spelunking opportunities, while the river crossing Sagada is excellent for white water rafting. An interesting feature around the village are the coffins hanging from various cliffs. During Christmas and Easter the area tends to be swarmed by tourists.
Banaue, located close to Sagada, features vast remarkable rice fields that have been cultivated for over 2000 years. The local rice terraces have mud-walls, which sets them apart from the stone-walled terraces predominating the Cordillera. A couple of museums tell the story of the Ifugao people, builders of the rice terraces, as well as the documentations of anthropologist Otley Beyer.